5G will result in many significant benefits for the communities, homes, schools, stores, and industries of the UK’s rural areas to enjoy. Changing life very much for the better, 5G will connect local residents to their area as well as to the rest of the UK, creating a more connected rural United Kingdom, tackling the digital divide, enabling (in cases for the first time) digital delivery of public services and working towards a smarter country, and a smarter world.

This theme will focus on the Orkney Islands, a group of 70 islands, of which only 20 are permanently inhabited.  It is the second most poorly connected part of the UK, making it the perfect place to trial connectivity that must work in the most rural or isolated areas.

Use cases include:

  • Community Mobile Broadband
    • Testing different technologies, including lower cost solutions, to deliver connectivity to several communities, where nothing, or only very poor landline coverage exists today.
  • Ferry Connect
    • This use case was designed to deliver 5G backhaul connectivity to a ferry operating between two of the Orkney Islands – allowing the boat to stay connected on its journey between the two ports. This use case didn’t progress due to challenges that could not be resolved in the time available in the project.
  • Legionella Conditions Monitoring
    • Monitoring water systems for compliance can be tricky in remote, unconnected areas. This Orkney-based use case employs IoT sensors to enable remote monitoring of water temperatures as a cost-effective way of ensuring the required health and safety standards are maintained.
  • Sustainable Tourism
    • Orkney welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, but poor connectivity can hamper their experience – and can make managing such huge numbers of visitors difficult. Deploying connectivity to tour buses enables passengers to access dynamic content during their trip, and helps site managers and tour operators to manage their loads more effectively.